A lazy weekend at the Longs’ house, being forced to use Internet Explorer 5.5, and a desire to practice what I preach has culminated in a few bug fixes for the site. It should now look a bit less sloppy in IE5. Read on for more.
So, it’s been three weeks and I’ve made some interesting progress on exploring the idea of having an Ironworks community portal on the Internet. About two weeks ago, Darin, Jai and I got together to discuss and decide on what we wanted to pull together. I’ve done some storyboarding, and have been keeping my ear to the ground to see if there are any interesting news in prepackaged CMS software. Read on for developments.
Derek Webb: Journal.
i am finding this a hard journal to write. there’s a lot of ground to cover and questions to answer. for those who haven’t already heard, i’ve decided to part ways with my band of 10 years, caedmon’s call. this decision took a lot of time and prayer, and has been a long time coming. i’ve wanted for some time to share some of what has gone into this decision but have had certain self-constraints, another thing that i hope to explain. Poor web design makes linking directly to Derek’s journal difficult. You can follow the link at the top of the page.
Caedmon’s Call is, in many ways, more than one of my favorite all-time bands. This is one of the bands that defined my Christian experience after Youth Group. As I grappled with the hard issues that were presented to me in Rutgers philosophy and sociology classes, the my warm ‘n’ fuzzy flavor of evangelicalism handed to me by James Dobson and Chuck Swindoll took a beating. Caedmon’s Call was and continues to be a harbor in the storm of rabid secularism and the bombastic Christian Right.
Pentix is a web site dedicated to the art of ‘pen spinning’. If you ever saw someone in your classroom twirling his pen casually, or someone making his/her pen go around the Thumb, you have already seen pen spinning in action. The objective of this page is to teach you how to spin a pen the easiest way possible. To achieve this goal, there are several descriptions, videos and even discussion boards available in this site. All the resources found here are free and the author’s only goal is to share his knowledge about pen spinning with others. I highly recommend the videos section of the site.
Sarah has explained to me before that horses sometimes acquire bad habits that are almost impossible to train out of them. Among them are weaving, cribbing, and various other annoying, stupid, and/or masochistic behaviors. How do they learn these obnoxious habits? Boredom and watching other horses.
About a year-and-a-half ago I was sitting in my American Government class, bored out of my gourd and watching other students in the room as the professor droned on. My attention was drawn in on this one girl in class who was able to flip a highlighter 360° effortlessly with one hand. I was bound and determined to discover how to do it myself, and it’s been driving my wife crazy ever since.
Netscape DevEdge: Strategy Central.
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As the deadline passes for the ultimatim set by President Bush, I’ve been doing a bit of reading around the internet that discusses the war. This is something that I’ve been paying a lot of attention to, but doing little talking about. Truth be told, my wife and I have been so overwhelmed with grief that it was all we could do to pray together.
Salon: See no evil.
As one watches protest marches, antiwar advertising and local arts events, one has to wonder whether the left has really weighed the moral issues posed by the horrors of Saddam’s regime—weighed life by life the repression of the 24 million Iraqis who live in a ruthless police state, not to mention the thousands or tens of thousands who have been imprisoned without trial, tortured, exiled or killed. It sometimes seems that the left is so averse to war, especially war waged by America, that it is prepared to turn a blind eye to even the most ghastly realities. Perhaps it is because the left no longer sees these realities that its antiwar arguments tend to justify continuation of the status quo. The sympathetic position of Edward W. Lempinen surprised me and I was encouraged by his attention to the humanitarian reasons for war in Iraq. By the way, you’ll have to watch a brief commercial in order to read the full three-page article.
Jason Kottke: The war.
The bottom line is, the U.S. isn’t going to war with Iraq for altruistic reasons, no matter what we say. Everything the leaders of the United States have ever done, from the Revolutionary War right up to the present, they have done for money and power. Make the whole world a capitalist democracy and everyone benefits a little, but the U.S., as the biggest member of the group, benefits the most. That’s what the American brand of capitalism is all about: we gain the support of the little guy by improving his situation a little so that we can improve our situation greatly. While I don’t share Jason’s extreme skepticism of the motives of our government—only time will be able to tell us what they really are—I do share a lot of his perspectives about the politics of power and agree with his criticism of the pundits of both war and peace.
Antithesis: Is it right to fight?
What should be our own perspective on military preparedness?…From my own study of Scripture I would say that to refuse to do what I can for those who are under the power of oppressors is nothing less than the failure of Christian love…This is why I am not a pacifist. Pacifism in this poor fallen world in which we live‑this lost world‑means that we desert the people who need our greatest help. Francis Schaeffer has an amazing way of making sense of complex issues—he’s only one of the evangelicals quoted by the Antithesis article (and, incidentally, the only one I really read).
It goes like this, we have no choice; the minarets,
The wailing voice
And vaguely Celtic music fills the air
We choose a foreigner to hate,
The new Iraq gets more irate
We really know nothing about them, and no one cares
Aladdin and the forty thieves
Enhanced by brand new special effects
Saddam and his cow disease spiced up
With some gratuitous sex
A movie’s made, a war is won
A low-speed chase, a smoking gun
Distracts us while the actor takes the stand
- Barenaked Ladies, Sell Sell Sell
Be it the Rutgers classes that I’ve taken or the InterVarsity experience I’ve had, but I’ve been finding myself just slightly left of center about this issue. While the motives for war are in doubt, the point of these articles is clear: there is a time—in order to deal with problems that are worse than war—when fighting is justified in order to help people. Lempinen makes the point well: though we may not be 100% sure of why we’re going to war, we are. This is no longer the time for debating, it’s now the time for accountability. We need to make sure that the administration that pledges hope and support for the people delivers on that promise.
Update: NPR is providing continuing audio and web based coverage of the conflict in Iraq for you nightowls.
Do you rember me
lost for so long
will you be on the other side
or will you forget me
I’m dying praying bleeding and screaming
am I too lost to be saved
am I too lost?
My God my tourniquet
return to me salvation
my God my tourniquet
return to me salvation
Evanescence is my new favorite band.
I noticed this article on Slashdot (discussion here). I remember debating with John Bell about whether or not I would ever take a job at Microsoft. All feasibility aside, I’m not sure I really would. A lot of people make a living of demonizing Microsoft—I’m not a part of that crowd (I mean, what’s the eternal significance of monopolistic business practices anyway?), but I think from an ethical standpoint that there’s much about Microsoft to give one pause.
Drop the roles and cut the pretense. Stop hiding out behind the talents, the abilities, and the ego. Nobody buys it. He doesn’t believe it and certainly she’s not fooled. Everyone sees the fact that it’s just a façade. A fake. A lie. Maybe to compensate for the fact that I don’t get it. Maybe as a means to gain popularity or noteriety. Or maybe just because I don’t like who I really am and I’m not prepared to deal with that.
But I want so much to be known! I want for people to stop me in the streets and to look at me and tell me, “Hey wait—you’re so-and-so! Look at how you do what you do! Nobody else does what you do and certainly not anywhere near as well as you do it.” If anybody did, of course, it would be a threat to my reputation, my life’s purpose: my identity. So much time has gone by and almost everyone knows now what they’re supposed to think of me.
What is life but the endless pursuit of classifying everyone and everything in some relation to myself? Of becoming somebody and not just being the schmuck of whom everyone is so remarkably unaware? It’s like Origin of Species meets, like, Dead Poet’s Society.
It doesn’t matter. So long as I can keep up the act, the tough questions take care of themselves. Life is but one hard sell: using the art of conversation—and some subtle negotiation—to do some real convincing, to make delcarations, to spin perspectives and maybe stay one step ahead of having to come to the realization that I am not my Sunday best.